Smart Materials

A talk from EMF 2018 by Anna Ploszajski

On Sunday September 2, 2018 at in Stage B

You’ve heard of smart phones, smart meters, smart watches… even smart fridges. Well now it’s the turn of smart materials.

This is a show about the future of stuff. Within our lifetimes, solid objects will react, sense, change and move according to their surroundings. This won’t be a result of fancy robotics or cunning electronics, but rather the fundamental properties of the materials themselves. Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine, drawn over 500 year ago, smart materials will make our aeroplanes of the future adapting, sensing and morphing, so that they fly like birds or bats. In years to come, we will be living in self-regulating houses, riding self-fixing bicycles, and driving on self-illuminating roads, all thanks to smart materials. These are metals, plastics, fabrics and fluids that react to the outside world without any human involvement, and they promise to change the way we live our lives forever.

In this one hour show, an award-winning materials scientist and engineer will be your guide on the smart material safari. There will be demonstrations of the smart materials that exist today, and exploration on how they will make the material world around us smarter tomorrow. Expect to see matter doing things you’ve never seen it do before!